Clocks won at auction – at a fair price

I never actually went to this auction but participated online. It is not quite the same as the rush of bidding in a live auction hall but exciting in its own way.

This particular auction had quite a number of clocks but I would say that most were in rough or what I would call “hobby-ready” condition.

I was looking at one particular clock but three more grabbed my attention. A total of four clocks, two shelf clocks, and two wall clocks.

My budget was $300CDN and I stuck to it. I set the maximum I would pay for each item and placed all bids within the last minute of the auction and walked away from the computer. For two of the clocks, I was prepared to let them go if bidding got too high but at the end of the day I won all four. With fees and taxes, the final invoice was $379 (a little over $300US and 240BP).

Bidding online is always a gamble. What the photos reveal does not always tell you what you are getting and I have been surprised more than once. I have a number of other photos from the auction but these are a good representation.

Hamilton Clock Co.

30-hour Ogee clock

Clock number one is a 30-hour weight-driven ogee made by the Hamilton Clock Co. based in Hamilton, Ontario in the late 19th century. This was a clock I was anxious to have since I am in the process of building a small collection of Canadian-made clocks.

I have one other clock from The Hamilton Clock Co., a 30-hour time and strike steeple clock, and one from the Canada Clock Co., a 30-hour time and strike cottage clock.

I am grouping the two companies together because one essentially grew from the other and made clocks within the same factory and with the same machinery.

Those two have etched lower tablets as on this new acquisition.

Canada Clock Co. Hamilton Cottage Extra
Hamilton Clock Co Gothic steeple clock
Hamilton Clock Co Gothic steeple clock

The Hamilton Clock Co was formed in 1876 and went out of business in 1880, a very short run for a clock company, unfortunately. The exact year of manufacture is unknown but I may know more when I receive the clock.

This clock looks like every 30-hour ogee ever made and that was the original intent, a familiar clock style that appeals to the masses. The dimensions of this Canadian-made ogee are very similar to American-made ogees and the movements, though made in Canada, are essentially indistinguishable (minor differences aside) from 30-hour ogee time and strike movements made by a number of American manufacturers of the time.

The clock appears to be intact, has its own weights and the lower etched glass tablet seems to be in fine shape judging from the auction photos but the case will need a thorough cleaning and some veneer work.

Daniel Pratt Jr

Clock number two is a Daniel Pratt Jr which I’d like to call a reverse ogee with a splat top but the splat top is missing.

I have just one Daniel Pratt Jr clock in my collection and it has an early woodworks movement. The older Pratt clock shows what the splat should look like.

Daniel Pratt Jr with woodworks movement
Reverse ogee and “splat

According to the label on which the date 1843 is inscribed, one can assume that this is the date of manufacture, approximately.

In any event, it may have a woodworks movement. There were still a few companies who continued with the cost-effective woodworks movement but by that time the rolled brass plate movements were becoming more common.

The loss of the splat top certainly makes the clock less desirable but it was one of the cheaper clocks in this grouping and, who knows, I might have a splat made, we’ll see.

Label, weights and pendulum bob

The green banding on the upper and lower glass sections looks somewhat suspicious and could have been added later. This clock also comes with weights and what looks to be an authentic-looking pendulum bob.

The lower tablet might just be a card-stock image, again, likely not original but old nonetheless. The dial has some losses but what there is of the case looks good.

Unknown gallery clock

Clock number three is an unknown gallery clock. I have no idea of the maker and cannot even guess. I took a chance and I hope the gamble pays off.

Gallery clock

The auction information describes it as 14 inches in diameter so I am assuming the clock face is about 10 inches or so. The hands look very interesting, the case looks well-made (mahogany?) and the clock definitely has a mid to late 1800s English look.

The centrally located winding arbour tells me that it has a time-only mechanical movement.

Back of the clock

The dial looks to have been redone but I am more curious about the movement inside.

A shot of the movement from the bottom

I am not sure what I am seeing in the photo above. Certainly, a homemade door catch on the left and a large gear (perhaps a mainspring barrel), and cylinder-shaped pendulum bob. Fusee movement? I doubt it. I think it has a conventional spring-driven time-only movement but I will know in a few days.

Six-inch gallery or ships style clock

The last is a smaller gallery, ships, or marine-style clock which is spring-driven with a balance wheel. The speed adjsutment lever below the 12 is the give-away.

It is 8 1/2 inches in diameter (6-inch dial), key wound time-only 30-hour clock with a seconds bit. I cannot even guess who the maker is but could be a Waterbury, E N Welch, or some other American manufacturer.

The chunky oak case needs some attention but with a good cleaning and a coat or two of shellac, it should show nicely. Apparently, it is in working order.

Okay, so, two clock makers I am familiar with and two unknowns. I wonder what surprises await me when I open up the two unknown clocks.

In a day or so we shall see what we get. We are driving down to the auction house in the next couple of days but we will make something of our 3+ hour journey and enjoy the sites, have lunch in Annapolis Royal (Nova Scotia) and do some antiquing along the way.


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